Meet Natural Wine — The Funky Vino That Won't Give You a Hangover

We are all about these natty wines.

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Sometimes referred to as raw, organic, or biodynamic wine, natural wines are made with minimal technological interference and without any added preservatives or chemicals. A more fluid category of wine that's difficult to define, think of natural wine as more of a category of winemaking or a philosophical approach versus a standard "type" of wine. It's also a category of wine that's deeply grounded in sustainability.

Although all wines contain trace amount of sulfites (technically sulphur dioxide), natural wines contain far fewer sulfites than most commercial wines. In fact, most commercial wines contain anywhere from 10 to 20 times the amount of sulfites than natural wines. So, if you're sensitive or even allergic to sulfites — or find that they might contribute to a hangover from hell — natural wine might be your new best friend.

With so much variation in style and technique, natural wine is a seriously fun and slightly wacky category to explore. You might be noticing natural wine popping up on more and more restaurant and bar menus as new varieties emerge, but natural wine is certainly not new. Similar to mead, ales, and other fermented liqueurs made centuries ago without technological manipulation, there's a simplicity to natural wine that's super alluring. It's old-school.

Here are five deliciously funky natural wines you need to try this fall.

1 2017 Finke's Sparkling White Blend
Fink's Widow
$16.00

Fruity, dry, and deliciously effervescent, this sparkling white natural wine from California is eco-friendly and vegan. With juicy notes of apple, pear, and lemon, this bubbly reminds us of a sparkling bone-dry cider and goes especially well with Thai food and shellfish. 

More5 Magical Meads You Must Try

2 Chepika Pet Nat 'Catawba' Finger Lakes 2017
Chepika
$28.00

Sometimes referred to as the "hipster" bubbly, pét-nat (short for Pétillant Naturel) is a sparkling natural wine that's another awesome sub-category to explore. This Chepika pét-nat hails from New York's Finger Lakes region and is super tart and zippy. Described as having "lightning-like acidity,” this natural wine makes for a delicious aperitif before a seafood dinner.

3 Domaine de la Pepiere Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine 'La Pepie' 2017
Domaine de la Pepiere
$19.00

This organically farmed, chemical-free natural wine from France's Loire Valley region is at once briny and buttery; salty yet slightly sweet. Our favorite wine to pair with raw oysters, this is one bottle you won't forget. 

4 2016 Ulls de Mel Natural Wine
Ulls de Mel

$18.00 per bottle ($188.00 per case)

Fruity, fresh, and with a minerality that lingers on the tongue, this Spanish natural wine is delicious paired with soft cheese, fresh Mediterranean pasta dishes, and white fish. We love the saltiness and juiciness of this wine — it reminds us of eating potato chips and watermelon on the beach. 

5 Enlightenment Wines Dagger Mead
Enlightenment Wines
$26.96

A natural wine made by fermenting fruits, herbs, and honey, mead is a deliciously funky category to check out. This Dagger Mead from New York-based meadery Enlightenment Wines is made traditionally from locally farmed and foraged herbs and fruit, and then barrel-fermented and aged for a minimum of 1 year. 

Bursting with the juiciness of black cherries and slightly bitter yarrow, hemlock, and fir, this natural wine has a mesmerizing aromatic herbal quality that will keep you sipping.